R v Munroe, 2012 ONSC 4768

Facts: Munroe inflected multiple injuries of different types over a prolonged period on the two Boston terriers (Abby, aged six, weighing ten pounds; and Zoe, aged four, weighing under twenty pounds) belonging to his girlfriend. Zoe was left badly injured and Abby died. The autopsy revealed multiple severe injuries and trauma. Munroe was initially sentenced to 12 months jail, which was reduced to 6 months following the appeal, summarized below.

This was a conviction and sentencing appeal following a guilty finding on all four counts under sections 445(1)(a) and 455.1(1)(a) of the Criminal Code.

The Appellant submitted a “fresh evidence” application. One piece of evidence was about the nature of injuries Abby suffered, which the judge found simply added to or exacerbated the primary cause of her death: blunt force trauma. A second piece of evidence was about whether Abby had injured herself as a result of falling down the stairs, which the judge found was inconsistent with the Appellant’s testimony at trial. The third piece of evidence had to do with the age of Abby’s callused rib fractures, which the Appellant argued cast doubt on his exclusive opportunity to inflict harm. The judge found that none of the evidence was admissible as fresh evidence and thus the application was dismissed.

Regarding the sentence appeal, the court found that the trial judge erred in determining the length of custodial sentence. Thus, the sentence was reduced to six months from twelve months. The court also found two errors in the trial judge’s ancillary orders. The sentence was adjusted accordingly to reduce the restitution order and remove the probation requirement of psychiatric treatment.